hiking

trail running

views

camping

backpacking

dog friendly

wild flowers

forest

lake

wildlife

birding

nature trips

walking

river

horseback riding

waterfall

My group of six backpacked this route in March of 2014 over a weekend. We started our hike late morning, camped at the Canyon Creek Lakes at the top, spent the entire next day hiking around the bowl and up to L Lake, and then hiked back the next day. March was a little early to be hiking up there and crossing the river (maybe too dangerous in hindsight). The river looked safe to cross on the way up, but on the way back the river had rose significantly and felt quite treacherous. The nights were brutally cold, but L Lake covered in snow was the most beautiful sight I've seen to this day. Climbing up to L Lake can be intimidating for some. I don't recommend bringing your backpack up there. Camp below and make a day hike up there. Did I mention we had the entire place to ourselves the whole time? Best part of it all. I highly recommend this trail; stunning views, waterfalls, rivers, beautiful boulders, and whimsical wooded areas. Be careful when you're hiking around on the rocks and boulders--they get slippery--and be cautious around flowing waters. Don't miss L Lake!

Easy hike with views to the northwest, southwest, south and east and the treat of a lake at the end. A regular for the Siskiyou Wanderers, often in winter or spring.

on Four Lakes Loop

backpacking
18 days ago

The most stunning views I have ever experienced, and incredibly varied. Every turn held a new view. We went mid August (2017) and there were still abundant wildflowers. We did this is two long days and one night. Took the loop clockwise and stopped to camp at Diamond lake, which is less than half way, but the second day is primarily downhill (although there are some surprise steep inclines past diamond lake, so don't get lured in once you start heading down). The trails were pretty busy, but we were one of only two groups that stayed at Diamond. Note: there are no good trees to hang a bear bag near diamond, so I would suggest a canister. Overall it was definitely difficult, but absolutely awe-inspiring. I would do this trip a thousand times.

Beautiful, but I would stay away from this area. Many of the trails are poorly maintained or were damaged by past fires. . The locals are super unfriendly and will go out of their way to hassle you, even when you are on public land. Most private property in the New River is illegal, unpermitted weed grows or worse, so be super sure to steer clear of private land.

hiking
2 months ago

I hiked this trail as a day hike with my dog and a friend in November 2017. I had seen the previous recording of 14-15 miles and thought that I could do that in a day hike at a quick pace. The trail ended up being 20+ miles to Alpine lake from Stuart Fork TH. We got held up for 30+ minutes trying to find a dry place to cross Stuart Fork about 7 miles into the hike. There was no definite dry crossing established, so we took off our shoes and waded through midcalf deep frigid water. The climb from the creek to alpine lake is steep , a good work out , though hard to do at a fast pace when sunset is nearing. We misjudged the elevation and got stuck in some snow for the last mile. Snow shoes would have allowed us to get to the lake, but we ran out of daylight. There was a beautiful waterfall that we accepted as worthy of our climb and started down to cross the creek before it got dark. Headlamps saved the day for the trek back to trailhead. I'll definitely retry this hike as part of a 3 day backpacking trip including Emerald and sapphire lakes when the snow clears and will re-review at that time. Overall, pretty hike, challenging ascent.

I backpacked to Emerald and Sapphire Lakes as a 2 days backpacking trip with my dog near the end of October. It was stunning the entire way from trailhead to the lakes. Fall 2017 in the Trinities was a very vibrant autumn and this trail really showed off the yellows and oranges of the deciduous trees lining the trail. The contrast of dark green evergreens vs yellow maples vs the Stuart Fork creek was beautiful. I camped up at Emerald lake, just barely made it before sunset - I clocked 16 miles on my fitbit. There was only one other tent there. I passed only 2 other couples along the trail and they ended up camping at the meadows. Walking through forests, along a creek, through a random meadow, crossing a few small waterfalls and constant views of the valley's peaks. It was a very secluded hike. The trail is well maintained. The scramble up to Sapphire lake gives a beautiful view of the valley you just climbed up.

I did this hike first week of December with my dog. The drive up to the trailhead was almost as beautiful as the actual hike - beautiful views of the Weaverville and surrounding mountains the whole way up to the lookout tower. If you're looking for a beautiful drive (a little under 2 hour drive from Redding - AWD or 4WD recommended but not necessary) and an easy hike to a beautiful alpine lake, then this is it. Easy as far as short in distance, there is still incline both ways to consider. I happened to get caught in a snow storm during the hike, so visibility of the lake wasn't ideal. But the granite ridges, iced over lake and surrounding evergreens along the trail covered in snow was a beautiful scene. I can't wait to go back and hike this again once the snow clears.

one of the best views

backpacking
4 months ago

Best hike I've done so far, excellent views!! This is a great backpacking experience. What you want to do this time of year is camp in the woods, set up camp and rest so when you get up early in the morning you can continue to complete the loop. The reason that I say this is because even though camping by the lake might seem like a great idea, it is very cold and windy and there is no wood to make a fire at night!!

Had an amazing 2 nights up here. Absolutely stunning. ❤️❤️❤️

The best solo backpacking trip I've done so far. Firstly, this is 15 miles from the trailhead to Emerald Lake or back. I used my fitbit to calculate the return route on my last day.

Here's what you should know:

1. Dirt Road Approach is about 2 miles so drive slow and definitely make sure you have tools just in case.
2. No service about 30 min before you even get to trinity county so be aware.
3. Trail has lots up ups and downs through the forest but so worth the hike, make sure you stay hydrated and stop for snacks/rest.
4. Hiking shoes are a must.
5. Ran into 6 snakes, but they slithered away so just watch where you step.
6. If you're camping at the Meadows for your first night, note that you will approach a sign right before it that breaks a trail in half. The right will say "trail", the left won't have a sign but head left into the meadows to camp. Going right will just take you further up the trail. Morris Meadows is also 9 miles from trailhead, just fyi if you're keeping track.
7. There are plenty of streams to refill your bottles.
8. Once past the meadows, its like walking through a jungle. Its sooo incredible.
9. I camped out at the top of Emerald lake next to the waterfall. Didn't run into a single animal. I definitely recommend it.
10. Keep your food secured and away from your camp, lots of bears (I've heard) and critters.
11. You can camp at several creeks/lakes before or past the meadows as well. Deer creek is great if you're going solo. The waterfall will put you to sleep in no time.
12. Lastly, enjoy the beauty of this magical place !!! I'm so glad I went.

Emerald and Sapphire Lakes are both amazing. Here is a trip report with pictures that I wrote for a backpacking trip out to the lakes and back. https://backpackersreview.wordpress.com/trip-reports/trinity-alps-emerald-lake/

backpacking
6 months ago

Do an overnight this past weekend. This hike has amazing view, beautiful meadows full of vibrant colors. Its a steady up hill for most of the 6 miles. Its not an easy feat. Went up and over Deer Creek Pass down to Dear Lake, a few tents were up, no really good spots to camp. Even thou I was worn out by this time, we trekked on to Luella Lake, we camped here for the night, with only one other group. We had the lake to ourselves early am and took a dip. Watched the sunrise and headed on up to Diamond Lake, for me this was the highlight of all the lakes. Another steep trudge up the switch backs and up Siligo Peak, very sketchy route the last 300 feet, but bagged the peak. Head back to Deer Creek Lake and begin the 6 mile journey home. This was one intense, hard hike. But worth the blood sweat and tears. There are only a few ideal spots by each lake. The parking lot was full, but didn't run in to much more than a handful of ppl........

Went a few weeks ago with some friends and it was a beautiful hike with views of mountains and waterfalls popping out as the trail turned and wound its way up the mountains, a gorgeous crystal clear green river that followed us for much of the way, and the beautiful granite and mountain-surrounded lakes at the end. The two less ideal aspects of the trip were the facts that the Upper and Lower Canyon Lakes are completely exposed with very little shade, so spending a day up there can be quite brutal (the water is freezing cold so you can't really stay in there for too long), and the hordes of people all along the trail and at the lake. it was very difficult to find a campsite and you were always within view and earshot of other groups, not to mention the strain that must put on the ecology. On the way back, we stopped by the crystalline river to have lunch, but it was marred by the smell of human waste. Please bury your waste and keep it off the trail and definitely at least 100 feet away from water.

there seems to be a lot of mis information about how long this hike is. The USFS map we picked up from the ranger station in Weaverville said 17 miles to Sapphire Lake. The sign at the trailhead at Bridge camp where everyone parks said 14. We took our Garmin and it read 11.5 on the way up and 12.5 on the way back. So who the heck knows! In any case it is one of the prettiest hikes I've ever done. Morris Meadows half way up is a great half way point if you wanted to take two days to make it to Sapphire. Both Sapphire and Emerald are gorgeous. Wear long pants past Morris Meadows, as Jonathan said below, it's like walking through a tropical jungle. The wildflowers and butterflies were gorgeous. We saw 6 snakes in 3 days so keep an eye out! None were rattlers.

backpacking
7 months ago

Went up with the Dece Scouts for a weekend of backpacking. We camped at Deer lake. There was maybe 4 other groups camped there as well. The weather was amazing and the stars were fierce.

In the morning Jing, Stani, and I did the loop clockwise and arrived back at our camp. The loop took about 3 hours with a big climb at the end. We packed up and headed out.

This place is great.

backpacking
7 months ago

I hiked the loop this summer, across two days, and saw all four lakes on the loop and Summit Lake. Definitely a great hike and there was still plenty of snow. The hike up to Deer Pass was a little challenging, and had to climb through some snow. There were a couple places along the trail where the trial was covered in snow but overall wasn't bad and the views are definitely worth it.

hiking
7 months ago

July 15 2017
Be prepared to drive on a windy dirt road for 30 minutes to reach the trailhead. You basically drive up the entire mountain and park at the top. I was not very smart and brought my little Hyundai up but couldn't make it all the way. It's a beautiful mountain top. There is a fire lookout to explore on the left and the trail is to the right. Slightly difficult to find trailhead since the sign has been torn down (see picture). Very brief and easy trail to the small "lake". Very narrow with some overgrown parts. The trail according to AllTrails takes you down to the lake but I could not find that section of trail and stayed at the top exploring. Not much to do up there without getting into dangerous situations. If you have four-wheel-drive and are looking for a Great view that you don't even have to hike for this is your trail. I wouldn't do it again simply because of the long dirt road.

I'll start off with tips:

The gps location they give is about 2.5 miles away from the trailhead. I was dropped off and had to walk that distance to the trail head and subsequently after to meet my ride because of no cell service.

When you get to the rock scramble do not go down and do not go up. I accidentally went up about a quarter mile on some sketchy rocks until I saw the lakes and had to climb back down. Just go straight ahead when you see the rocks. You will get what I mean.

The board says 14 miles to Sapphire Lake not 12

In total it became a 30+mile hike

NOW the review.

I did this as a day hike. I started at 6 am and ended at around 5 due to all the extra mileage. It starts off slow with some nice views of the river.

The changing point was when I hit the meadow. It was extremely nice and has about knee height plants (I'm 5'10). The trail is really easy to follow.

After the meadow you then fall into what seems to be a tropical jungle. At certain points i wish I had a machete to make a clearer path but that is just me. Haha. Most of the trail is extremely easy to follow.

Once you pass this point you are almost there. You have some decent elevation and then boom you see the first lake. It surprised me. Very beautiful. Go up a mile or less and then you get to see Sapphire. I sat for 20 mins and made my way back.

If I brought my own car and started at the trail head the hike would have been from 6 am to 3pm.

The trail isn't hard. Anyone who is in decent shape can do it with the correct stamina. I am new to hiking and I did 14-15 mile hikes for 4 days previously and was still able to complete this easily.

Totally worth it though. One of the best hikes I've been on.

Starts of slow- pretty but forgettable. Then the trail turns into Tropical California. SO amazing. I felt like I was in Hawaii with so much plant diversity. I backpacked this last year, 2016 in July and there was snow covering the trail at times making it harder to traverse, but manageable. Amazing views. Made base camp at Siligo Meadow and did four loops lake as a day hike. This is an amazing 3 night backpack.

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